10.6.17: Rules for Placing a Recreational Vehicle or Travel Trailer Next to Your Uninhabitable Home

Due to the State of Emergency imposed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, temporary emergency housing can be utilized for temporary occupancy by residents displaced by the storm.

Temporary emergency housing means recreational vehicles (RV or travel trailer) used for temporary occupancy in response to the hurricane.

Temporary emergency housing (RV or Travel Trailer) may be placed on a parcel for temporary occupancy by residents of the same parcel who have been displaced by the storm, subject to the following conditions:

(1) A lawfully established dwelling unit (previously permitted house) existed and it has incurred sufficient damage from the disaster to make the dwelling unit uninhabitable, as determined by verifiable photographic evidence provided by the owner to the Building Department, and/or an inspection by an official from a federal or state governmental relief agency, the county Building Department or the County Code Compliance Department;

(2) no-fee emergency permit must be issued for the placement of the temporary emergency housing (RV or Travel Trailer), which will be linked to the building permit issued for damage repair to the house.

(3) A building permit must be issued for repair of damages caused by the storm to make the house habitable within 90 days of placement of the temporary emergency housing (RV or Travel Trailer);

(4) Only one (1) temporary emergency housing unit (RV or Travel Trailer) may be placed on the parcel; and

(5) The temporary emergency housing unit (RV or Travel Trailer) may remain on the property for a period not to exceed 180 days from the date of building permit issuance or until the final inspection or certificate of occupancy is issued on the repairs made to the house, whichever comes first.

• A single extension of up to an additional 180 days may be granted by the Building Official if he determines that good cause has been shown for the need for an extension and that the temporary emergency housing unit is adequately tied down and secured so as not to present an undue hazard to persons or property in a high-wind or flood event.

• Expiration of the building permit for damage repairs shall require immediate removal of the temporary emergency housing unit (RV or Travel Trailer) from the site.

(6) Nothing shall prevent the county or any state or federal authority to terminate without notice the authority to keep any temporary emergency housing units otherwise authorized should it be deemed required for the public safety.


9.29.17: Emergency Permitting Memo


9.26.17: Included below is information on permitting requirements and rebuilding/repair regulations currently required in the various municipalities of the Florida Keys. NOTE: This information may not be complete and may not cover every individual situation. Please contact the appropriate municipality for additional information as needed.



Click here for flyer: DANGER: Unlicensed Contractors. Print and post in your business.



• Tarping roofs, boarding openings
• Repairs of 25% or less to roofs, siding, drywall, and fences
• Flooring, painting

• Re-roof
• Window/door replacement
• Dock (only for work that does not require ACOE and DEP)
• Electric service upgrades and repair
• A/C changeouts
• Plumbing
• Fences (repairs of 25% or greater)

All structural repairs and work will require engineered plans/drawings and plan review.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permit Procedures:
Alternative permitting procedures are in place in response to Hurricane Irma. Please refer to the Public Notice provided here.

Department of Environmental Protection Emergency Final Order:
Post-storm Guidance for Environmental Resource Permitting is provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Please refer to the Emergency Final Order provided here.

Roof inspection will require only Final Inspection and a signed Roofing Affidavit

Inspections can be requested online through the CityView portal or (until Village Hall phones are reestablished)inspections can be requested via email to Building Coordinator Carlota de la Sierra at



CONTRACTING AND PERMITTING GUIDELINES – The City Building/Permitting Division will assist residents and contractors seeking permits for recovery repairs to existing structures only. The City of Marathon government offices are expected to be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hurricane damage–related permit fees will be waived for the first 60 days starting Sept. 17, 2017, ending Nov. 16, 2017. Contractors seeking permits must be licensed in Florida and registered with the City of Marathon.

The following work does not require a building permit:

• Removal of debris from on or in a structure.

• Minor demolition to prevent injury or further damage to buildings.

• Repair or replacement of gutters.

• Roof covering replacement of 1 square (10 foot by 10 foot or less).

• Fence repair or replacement (like for replacement of an existing fence previously permitted). Residents with swimming pools are being advised that a safety barrier surrounding their pool must be replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Swimming pools without safety barriers pose a life safety threat, even if the pool is empty.

• Minor nonstructural repairs made to the exterior.

• Repair of minor water leaks that do not involve structural.

Within the 60 day time period for waived permit fees, a Florida licensed contractor may perform emergency mechanical, electrical and plumbing repairs on-site and submit a permit application within 24 hours of completing the repairs per the Florida Building Code. To help expedite the permit process, detailed photos showing all damages to be repaired should be submitted with the completed permit application.

Building Permit Procedure for Minor Damage (damage total less than $20,000) (24 hour permit turnaround): Permits for minor damage, consisting of roof covering, screen enclosures, wood decks, doors, windows and other nonstructural components may be obtained as follows:

A permit may be obtained upon the submission of an itemized list (estimated cost of reconstruction/improvements) from the contractor or owner-builder stating the items to be repaired, with an accurate cost estimate of the repairs. It will be the responsibility of the owner-builder or contractor to request the required inspections from the Building Department, or use an approved architect or engineer to perform the inspections and provide inspection reports to the City of Marathon.

Building Permit Procedure for Major Damage (damage total greater than $20,000) (3-7 day permit turnaround): Permits for minimal structural components such as damaged glass rooms, trusses, cladding (roof and wall sheathing) and non-structural components, including mechanical (air conditioning), electrical, plumbing, and insulation, may be issued to a contractor or owner-builder upon submission of an itemized list signed and sealed by a Florida Licensed Architect or Engineer.

Major Structural Damage (7-10 day permit turnaround): Building permits for collapsed roofing systems, destroyed walls, foundation damage, damage to beams, and other major structural components, will only be issued upon submission of detailed construction drawings prepared and sealed by a Florida Licensed Architect or Engineer.

Buildings that require structural repairs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Permit applicants should provide photographs of damaged areas to assist city staff in determining what construction documents will be required for permit approval.

Contractors travel from out of state to a disaster area and take advantage of the large amount of repair work to be done. Remember that even if they are licensed in another state to perform construction services, they must also obtain a state license from DBPR to perform those services on your home or business. During a declared State of Emergency, the penalty for unlicensed construction activity becomes a third-degree felony. In addition, DBPR may dispatch teams to conduct door-to-door sweeps in conjunction with law enforcement, building departments and other state agencies.

Unlicensed activity occurs when a person who is not licensed by the state performs or offers to perform a job or service that requires licensure in one of the professions regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

SCAMS: Unfortunately disaster brings unscrupulous people looking to take advantage. Only hire licensed and insured contractors and ensure they work through the City.

TO REPORT AN UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR:  File a complaint online with the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) at or call them at 1-866-532-1440.  The City Code Department may be reached at 305-289-4116, or you may file a complaint online at

ELECTRICAL SERVICE CONNECTIONS:  The City performed emergency visual observations for electric service connections ONLY to residential and commercial structures. These observations help aide the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative (FKEC) (305-852-2431) in re-energizing power in your neighborhood. The visual observations included the following:

Service line connections from the electrical main line to the electrical weather head are intact

The meter and disconnect are not damaged

The electrical disconnect has been turned off as an extra safety measure

Visual observations for live electric wires

Flooding / water marks observed 1 foot or less in structures

A SAFE or UNSAFE/NOTSAFE sticker was then placed on your meter. No other observations are included in this effort.

SAFE – If a SAFE sticker has been placed on your meter you will be able to receive power once it is available. After FKEC has repaired any damage to the electric mainline on the roadway in your neighborhood then they can energize the street and the services that are SAFE.

The home owner would then need to turn the electrical disconnect back on (typically located at the meter) and then any in house breakers in their panel box. You will be able to identify if you have power by looking at the meter to see if it is on.

UNSAFE or NOT SAFE – If a UNSAFE or NOT SAFE sticker is placed on your meter, one or more of the above referenced observations were deemed unsafe. The owner would need to have an electrical contractor review your electrical system and certify it SAFE on their letter head with contractor licensing information. Once the City receives the letter, they will forward it to FKEC to active your electric service if your electric in the neighborhood has been restored by FKEC.  This precautionary measure is to help avoid electrical damage.




City of Key West is open at City hall for issuing emergency permits. Fees are being waived.